Species category: Mites
Scientific name: Aceria cynodoniensis
What is a Couch Grass mite?
Description of a couch grass mite
The mites are very small and difficult to see without the use of a microscope. They are almost transparent to whitish-yellow colour with some darker markings on the outer edge. They have 2 pairs of legs and an elongated body.
Believed to be a native species, this mite now has widespread distribution across Australia
Couchgrass mites are active throughout summer, particularly during hot and dry conditions. Reducing mowing height and collection of clippings may help with control.
Couch grass mite Behaviour
These pests are so small that an infestation is first identified by the damage caused to couchgrass.
They have a very short life cycle, so can take hold quickly and cause extensive turf damage. Couchgrass mites can overwinter in the grass blades and then start reproducing in spring.
Risks associated with Couch grass mite
Typical turf grass damage is a chlorotic colour. At first, the appearance of the turf looks like it is growing weakly. The internode of stems may also be reduced in length producing a ‘witches broom’ or ‘bunchy top’ appearance.
The grass starts to lose its vigour and will eventually die if the infestation is severe enough.